Rammstein’s Most Bizarre Lyrics (When Put Through Google Translate)
Okay, we all know that Rammstein are pretty strange guys with a twisted world view. They took their name from a huge air show disaster, they’ve flirted with nationalistic imagery, and have written songs inspired by Josef Fritzl. They also sing about sex. A lot. Often of the, shall we say, ‘non-conventional’ variety.
Rammstein are known to have a flair for wordplay and double meanings, but that’s something you can only really appreciate if you happen to be fluent in German, as the majority of the band’s lyrics are written in their native tongue.
So what happens if you simply throw all this dark, meticulously-constructed poetry through Google Translate? Well, it turns out that most of it still makes dark, twisted sense but sometimes… well, you can see for yourself…
Mutter (‘Mother’) reflects Till Lindemann and Richard Kruspe’s unhappy childhood relationships with their own mothers. It uses a Frankenstein-style parable of a child born not from a womb, but via an experiment, who is seeking revenge on ‘the mother who never bore me’. The theme is strange enough on its own, but run it through the translation and things get seriously twisted.
‘I was not allowed to lick nipples
and no fold to hide
nobody gave me a name
begotten in haste and without seed’
Or how about…
‘An eel lives in her lungs
on my forehead a birthmark
remove it with Messer’s kiss
even if I have to die from it’
This mournful little dirge translates as ‘Without You’, and is perhaps the closest thing Rammstein have to a ballad. It resonates with themes of loss and possibly environmentalism… we think. Although going off the following translation, we’re not sure of anything anymore.
‘I will go into the firs
Where I last saw her
But the evening throws a cloth into the countryside
And on the paths behind the edge of the forest
And the forest he stands so black and empty
Pain me oh pain
And the birds sing no more’
Don’t you just hate it when the evening throws a cloth into the countryside?
Pussy, which is delivered in a combination of English and German, doesn’t hold back in either its lyrics or the NSFW version of the accompanying pornographic video. On this song, to be fair, the translation probably achieves precisely the effect they were going for. We’re including it purely on the madly inventive double entendre contained in this verse:
‘Too big, too small
The turnpike should be above
Pretty lady, do you want more
Blitzkrieg with the meat gun
Liquor in the head, you lovely bride
Put bratwurst in your sauerkraut’
If Pussy was Rammstein’s porno then Sex is their love story – with a hefty dose of obsession and carnality thrown in, of course.
The automatic translation renders the first verse:
‘I’ll look at you and I’ll be sick
Everywhere the buxom meat
I look deep into the sex
And the knees become soft
Thousand needles, the desire
Will catch smell with hands’
The helpful people at Rammstein fansite affenknecht.com translate that last line into the far more poetic, ‘Want to catch the scent with my hands,’ but we’ll stick with the Captain Caveman version, thanks.
The title translates literally to ‘Fire Free’ and figuratively to the expression ‘Fire at will’. It’s a suitably explosive song, perfectly suited to the band’s flamethrower-flinging pyro display. Running it through Google Translate seems to blow up the English language, however.
‘Whoever knows pain is blamed
from the fire that burns the skin
I throw a light
in my face
A hot scream
This song is generally seen as a response to allegations of fascism that were thrown at the band, especially in their earlier days. The ‘Left 2−3−4’ refrains suggest they hang to the left of the political spectrum, putting forward a rather compelling argument in the translation.
‘They want my heart in the right place
but then I look down
there it beats in the left breast
the envious person has known badly.’
Take that, envious person.
Waidmanns Heil translates as ‘Huntsman’s Salute’, and the lyrics contain numerous German hunting terms that don’t translate well to English at the best of times.
Hence baffling stanzas like:
‘I’ve been in heat for days
How to hunt a bald deer
And until the morning I’m sitting on
So that I can give leaf shot’
Or, even better…
‘A narrow animal on the runs comes
Has been sooned in the high Ried
Makes good track deep in the tann
The mirror shines, I tackle
The frond shrugs like finger eel
The shotgun jumps off the feed’
Eifersucht (‘Jealousy’) is a sinister enough song to begin with, but mangle the language somewhat using a free translation app and the result is perhaps even more disturbing.
‘I have such smooth skin
take it off in stripes
I have the clear eyes
take the light
I have the pure soul
kill her in flames
Do I have your wife then
kill me and eat me up completely
then eat me up completely
but lick the plate off’
Till and keyboardist Christian ‘Flake’ Lorenz were arrested after performing Buck Dich (‘Bend Down/Bend Over’) in Worcester, Massachusetts on the Family Values Tour back in the late-’90s. It wasn’t for dodgy lyrics, but the simulated anal sex that the singer performed on a leashed Flake, culminating with an ejaculating dildo squirting all over his back. We always thought the lyrics were BDSM-themed, but after reading the following translation, we’re not sure…
‘The biped has crooked
in a good light
I show him what you can do
and I start to cry
The biped stammered a prayer
out of fear because I feel worse
he tries deeply to boast
Tears run high back’
Mein Teil is one of Rammstein’s most notorious songs, taking inspiration from Armin Meiwes, a fellow German who attained notoriety after he killed and ate a voluntary victim he found on the internet. The title has one of those Rammstein‑y double meanings, translating not only to ‘My Part’ or ‘My Portion’ but it’s also used as slang for ‘My Penis’; Meiwes cut said appendage from his still-living victim and both attempted to eat it.
Most of the translation makes perfect (if incredibly disturbing) sense. The chorus runs:
‘Because you are what you eat
and you know what it is
It’s my part – No’
But then you get this verse, which is all the more disturbing for being slightly off:
‘A scream will go to heaven
Cuts through angel flocks
From the cloud cover falls spring meat
On my childhood with screeching’
We’ll take a big bag of nope to go…
Rammstein’s new untitled album is out now.
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